The RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2016 auction will be held Saturday, March 12th on the grounds of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Amelia Island, Florida. RM’s 18th annual sale at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will feature more than 90 automobiles.
“For the collector car community, March is synonymous with the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance weekend. We’re proud to not only be the official auction house of the event, but also one of its longest running sponsors,” said Gord Duff, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s. “Last year’s event was certainly one for the books, launching our new partnership with Sotheby’s in spectacular fashion. 12 months on, we’ve assembled another fantastic group of automobiles with an emphasis on fresh-to-the-market, exquisitely restored examples – a great fit for the concours setting.”
One of the headline entries at the 2016 RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island sale goes to a 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Spezial Cabriolet A, chassis 408371. The earliest known post-war owner of this one-off was American operatic tenor James Melton. It is understood the Cabriolet A was regularly and extensively used by Melton, who recounted his adventures with his ‘supercharged beast’ in his 1954 autobiography, Bright Wheels Rolling. Reflective of the car’s importance in his life, even as Melton began selling his collection in the 1950s, the 540 K remained; one of the final cars in his stable, it was sold shortly before his passing in 1961.
The next collector in this 540 K’s history was Otis Chandler, who promptly commissioned a restoration, debuting the work to ‘Best of Show’ honors at the 1973 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The featured Mercedes-Benz later passed through the hands of other owners, including Axel Wars and General William Lyon, prior to landing with the current vendor two decades ago. Outfitted in bright scarlet with tan leather upholstery and a tan cloth top, chassis 408371 is estimated to fetch $3,000,000 – $4,000,000.
Jonathan Sierakowski, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s commented, “This car has all that a superb automobile should have: memorable lines, superb engineering and abundant power. Add in its exceptional ownership chain and its bevy of special one-off features, from the raked vee’d windshield to the louvered front hood, special fitted luggage and the five-speed transmission, a feature only seen on the later examples, and it can be rightfully considered one of the most superlative and unique 540 Ks.”
Fast-forward to the 1950s and RM’s Amelia Island catalog for 2016 includes a 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback Sports Saloon, chassis BC2LD. This example is completed in the configuration of factory LHD, 4.9-liter engine, center-shift transmission and the famous “seats and spats”. Completed on August 21, 1954, the featured R-Type was shipped from London to New York aboard the SS American Producer and promptly sold to its original owner, Mary Thurston Horn, a member of one of New York’s oldest families. Just four private owners from new, it was acquired by its current owner in 2009 and promptly restored – the caliber of work honored with a ‘Best in Class’ at Amelia Island in 2010 (Est. $1,200,000 – $1,400,000).
Other automobiles slated for the one-day auction include the 1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Tourer, chassis 1544, and the 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB Coupe Aerodinamico, chassis 3949 SA.
For Rolls-Royce enthusiasts, RM called the 1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Tourer one of the most significant “parallel bonnet” Silver Ghosts offered in recent memory. With open coachwork, chassis 1544 is one of approximately 20 surviving examples sporting their original body, engine and chassis. It enjoys a thoroughly documented provenance, restoration and show history, including accolades in both AACA National and Rolls-Royce Owners Club competition. It comes to Amelia Island following two decades in single ownership (Est. $2,500,000 – $3,500,000).
The 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB Coupe Aerodinamico leads a group of 13 Ferraris. A factory covered-headlamp example with numerous special-order features, chassis 3949 SA was the 1962 Turin Automobile Show Car and boasts a well-known, limited ownership. It was originally delivered new to American Erwin Goldschmidt, who specified many one-off characteristics, remaining in the family’s care through 2003. Acquired by the vendor in 2012, it has been freshly restored and is estimated to bring $2,700,000 – $3,300,000.
A 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta ‘Tour de France’ will also cross the block in Amelia Island. Chassis 0619 GT competed in period, including 3rd overall at Reims and Monza, as well as two 4th-place finishes at Spa and Monza. Offered by its owner for the last 41 years, this original matching-numbers engine example had a multi-year restoration in the early 2000s followed by a decade of FCA Nationals, Tours and Concours.
1927 Avions Voisin C14 Lumineuse, Chassis 28068, offered from the collection of a marque expert, CCCA Full Classic (Est. $800,000 – $950,000);
1931 Stutz DV-32 Convertible Victoria, chassis nDV-PC-1294, the first of five examples built to this design, multiple Best of Show and Best in Class honors (Est. $800,00 – $1,000,000);
1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, chassis 7500378, offered from ownership for the last 42 years and twice driven from coast-to-coast (Est. $1,000,000 – $1,300,000);
1984 Ferrari 288 GTO, chassis ZFFPA16B000055237, irst 288 GTO officially delivered in Japan, formerly the long-term property from new of Yoshiko Matsuda, under 11,000 actual kilometers; original books, tools, and documents (Est. $2,300,000 – $2,600,000);
1968 Chevrolet Sunoco Camaro Trans Am, the first of two examples built for Penske’s 1968 season, and raced by Mark Donahue and Sam Posey to numerous podiums (Est. $900,000 – $1,200,000);
1932 Ford Model 18 Edsel Ford Speedster, the very first collaboration of young stylist E.T. “Bob” Gregorie and Edsel Ford, just four owners from new (Est. $1,200,000 – $1,400,000);
1962 Kurtis Aguila, Chassis 62-S1, exhibited at the Quail Motorsports Gathering and the Amelia Island Concours (Est. $450,000 – $600,000);
1973 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider, Chassis 15369, one of 121 built and one of 18 European-spec examples, presented in its original colors, Ferrari Classiche certified (Est. $450,000 – $600,000);
1979 Porsche 911 Turbo, chassis 9309800848, original, numbers-matching example with 548 miles from new (Est. $300,000 – $375,000);
1985 Ford RS200 Evolution, chassis 070, upgraded by the factory to 600 brake horsepower and showing less than 450 original kilometers (Est. $475,000 – $675,000); and,
2014 Pagani Huayra, delivered new to the United States and showing less than 400 miles (Est. $1,900,000 – $2,200,000).
In addition to its traditional automobile offerings, RM Sotheby’s will support the fundraising initiatives of the Amelia Island Concours via the presentation of charity lots at the start of its March 12 auction. From a pair of children’s cars, including 1956 Bimbo Racer 12V, to a Monaco Grand Prix F1 experience and a General Motors Design Center Experience, proceeds from the sale of these lots will benefit Spina Bifida of Jacksonville.
In 2015, RM Sotheby’s offered 101 automobiles for sale, with 99 finding a new owner, reflecting a 98% sales rate. Total sales volume was $60,122,000, inclusive of buyer’s premiums. The average price per car sold was $607,293. Top sale went to a 1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet at $6,380,000, followed by the 1955 Jaguar D-Type at $3,675,000 and the 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider at $3,300,000. (See 2015 RM Amelia Island Report).
As the official auction of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, the RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island sale will once again be held on the grounds of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 4750 Amelia Island Parkway, Amelia Island, Florida on Saturday, March 12th, 2016.
For complete event details, visit rmsothebys.com or call +1 519 352 4575.